Lando Norris edges Verstappen to claim pole for Spanish Grand Prix

Lando Norris edges Max Verstappen to claim pole for Spanish Grand Prix

Lando Norris delivered a stunning final lap to overcome Max Verstappen and secure pole position for the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix.

McLaren’s Lando Norris edged Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the final moments of qualifying to claim pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Norris clocked a 1:11.383s on his final run to land his second career pole by a mere two hundredths of a second over Verstappen who appeared very strong in the early parts of qualifying, with Lewis Hamilton placing his Mercedes in third.

On the back of a very close final free practice session pressure was high on drivers as the slightest mistake could mean a big difference in grid position. The Sauber and Williams cars were traditionally among the first to take the track but it wasn’t until 10 minutes from the end that the real contenders started dropping their times.

Verstappen was first and lapped in 1:12.306 to top the best time so far by 7 tenths. Norris later slotted in closely behind Verstappen, just like Sainz and Russell. Charles Leclerc would stamp his and Ferrari’s mark on proceedings from the outset to top the leaderboard in Q1 prior to the final runs in the opening 18-minute stage.

However, all the attention was on the back and which drivers would be going to a premature exit, with Daniel Ricciardo on the precipice as the clock continued to tick.

As Stroll complained of impeding at was clear that the Astons were struggling. Tsunoda and Ricciardo were also in danger of getting ousted, just like the Williams drivers.

The Faenza-based squad brought a considerable update package to this weekend’s race, leaving the side to go back to the drawing board amid the drivers’ confusion.

Perez was tenth with 2 minutes left on the clock and improved to 6th half a minute later. Bottas and Zhou then improved to 8th and 9th with Ocon moving up into 7th. with the track clearly improving only the top 6 remained inside the box.

Alonso then was in trouble, just like Hamilton but both managed to find decent gains. In fact, Hamilton went fastest overall with a lap of 1:12.143, slightly more than a tenth up on Leclerc.

The two Saubers and Stroll were the last to make the cut, dropping out Magnussen, the RB cars and both Williams.

In Q2 we had Lance Stroll setting the first time but it was quickly beaten by Ocon by no less than a full second. Perez and Gasly soon did better still but all used new tyres whereas Stroll did his first lap on a set of used softs.

Hamilton later also did his first run on used softs but was nearly a full second quicker than Stroll and just a tenth behind Alonso who had done his first on fresh softs.

At the top the times were again very close with Verstappen eventually going fastest, two tenths quicker than Norris and Sainz. Piastri and Leclerc stranded at 0.358s and 0.385s respectively.

One minute from the end Hamilton completed his run on a fresh set of tyres and ended up second fastest. Alonso meanwhile was setting personal bests in every sector but eventually lacked 0.014s to make it through, leaving both Aston Martins, the Saubers and the remaining Haas to be eliminated.

In Q3 the Red Bulls were out first and Verstappen easily got the upper hand on his team mate by a considerable 1.388 seconds. Sainz was up next and ended up in second, soon toppled by Norris.

The Mercedes were last to complete their first flying laps and they did well. Hamilton and Russell moved into third and fourth place, demoting the Ferrari duo to 5th and 6th who then were ahead of the Alpine duo. Perez sat 9th while Piastri got his laptime deleted for track limits.

With two minutes to go the field returned to the track for their final push laps and Piastri, staring at a 10th-place grid position found himself in the gravel in the final sector and ended his pursuit for pole.

Sainz meanwhile did improve and got to within 0.063s of Verstappen. Leclerc got even closer but Verstappen improved another two tenths.

Verstappen looked odds on for pole when he posted his 1:11.403s effort, but the #4 papaya McLaren driven by Norris was the weapon of choice on Saturday with the Brit taking the last laugh right at the death.

Hamilton was 0.318s back in third position, out-qualifying his Mercedes team-mate George Russell for just the second time this season, who finished fourth, 0.320s back from pole.

Leclerc led the Ferrari effort in fifth ahead of Sainz with the Ferrari duo finishing 0.348s and 0.335s off of the ultimate pace respectively.

Pierre Gasly finished a mightily impressive seventh for Alpine with Sergio Perez a Red Bull filling in a French sandwich as Esteban Ocon posted the ninth fastest time. Piastri’s error in Q3 resigned him to 10th.

2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying Results

1Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m12.386s1m11.872s1m11.383s
2Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m12.306s1m11.653s1m11.403s
3Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m12.143s1m11.792s1m11.701s
4George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m12.456s1m11.812s1m11.703s
5Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m12.257s1m12.038s1m11.731s
6Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1m12.403s1m11.874s1m11.736s
7Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m12.651s1m12.079s1m11.857s
8Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing1m12.477s1m12.054s1m12.061s
9Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m12.691s1m12.109s1m12.125s
10Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m12.460s1m12.011sNo Time Set
11Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m12.505s1m12.128s 
12Valtteri BottasFINStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m12.758s1m12.227s 
13Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m12.708s1m12.310s 
14Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m12.881s1m12.372s 
15Zhou GuanyuCHNStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m12.880s1m12.738s 
16Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m12.937s  
17Yuki TsunodaJPNVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m12.985s  
18Daniel RicciardoAUSVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m13.075s  
19Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m13.153s  
20Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing1m13.509s  

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